The Things You Need to Know

  • No Oil EVER! Coconut oil or any other kind will waterproof your hair and make it dehydrated. Oil and water do not mix… Simple science. Oil builds up on hair and prevents it from absorbing moisture; hair becomes very dry. I see the damage every day
  • Don’t use products with any non water-soluble silicones. They build up over time and block hydration (water) from being absorbed into the hair. Even “natural” products can build up in the hair - don’t use butters, oils, serums, or anything else that feels non water-soluble. If you put it on your hands and they become waterproof, run away!
  • Homemade internet concoctions just don’t work. Been there, done that! It all starts with hair that is in the best condition ever. If there is any type of goo, build-up, or residue on the hair, it should be gently removed to reveal the natural hair. 
  • Don't put food on your hair; it goes a little lower, in your mouth :)


How to Hydrate Thirsty Curly Hair

Mary’s Recipe for Beautiful Curls!

Dehydrated hair = Uncooked spaghetti; thin, brittle, dry, prone to breakage

Hydrated hair = Cooked spaghetti; plump, filled with water, supple, bendable

Note: It’s the water content in the spaghetti that makes it bendable and plump, not the sauce on the outside.

Letting conditioner just sit on the outside does not make your hair plump up. Instead, it simply builds up and that lets everyone down. ;-)


IMPORTANT: Only do the following technique after you’ve fully hydrated your hair. Gently work the knots out, working sideways from the outer edges inwards, patiently separating the hair strands. Not that most hair damage is from every day repetition over a long period of time. It all adds up.


Hydrate Your Curls by SQUISHING!

The main thing to keep in mind is that it is all about the water, not gobs of products! Less is more because you don’t want gobs of goo weighing down your hair and making it feel icky.

Also, water is what is making your hair curl… I think of water as my “perm solution” (maybe it’s because I’m a hairstylist from the 80’s). After you cleanse keep your hair soaking wet, the wetter the better, and apply a small amount of conditioner to the tips and squish upwards towards the roots.

It should sound juicy, like a foot in a wet boot… Think back to when you were a kid with a soaker! If your top layers are long, you may want to add a separate dab of conditioner here as well and squish.

The top layer and the hair framing your face can get dry as it is exposed to all of the elements. If you have areas that are extra dry or tangled, add more water and a wee bit of conditioner to those areas as well. Use your noodle!

Alternate between adding a little bit of water and a dab of conditioner while you squish, taking a bit of time to let the water absorb. Eventually, your hair will absorb no more water; the outside will feel wet like cooked spaghetti, plump and fat on the inside but not heavy with the sauce outside!

Now you're done!


Do You Rinse?

Only if the outside of your hair feels like you have too much conditioner on it, then you can lightly rinse. It is best if you can add small amounts of hydrating conditioner, squish and leave the water and conditioner in the hair.

More water and less conditioner!

Dehydrated hair may take a while the first few times to hydrate. I think of it as an empty glass that we’re trying to fill with water; once it’s done, if some evaporates, all you need to do is top it up as it’s not as empty as the first time you hydrated!

How much conditioner?

It will change with outside conditions and seasons… Humidity, air conditioning, dusty environment, heat… It all depends on how much water is in the air and how much you hydrate as well. Start with very small amounts of hydrating conditioner and add dabs as needed with more water and squish. Remember that it is all about the water.


Finishing Curly Hair

Tangles… the gentle way: 'Knot from the top down!'

I use very small amounts of styler, working through small sections from the roots downwards towards the ends, making sure there is an even distribution from the roots to the ends on every little section and smoooooth your hair as you go.

The answer is NOT a lot of product, but very thoroughly worked through. Easy.



Now your hair is much straighter.

Time to get your curls back better than ever by squishing them back in!

If you don’t hear the squish, you can add a little bit more water. The water helps to even out the porosity of hair and also give a more even distribution of product.

Squish the style back in how you want your curls to fall. For example, if you would like to wear your hair around your face, tip forward, start squishing at the roots and form your curls around your face ! You can also go from side to side and back, making sure you squish your crown area and roots .

If you have very long hair, you can also add a wee bit more styling product in the ends of your hair if your curls are not boinging back in enough for your liking.


Gently Drying

Don’t take out too much water, just enough from the surface so that your hair does not drip!

Use an old cotton t-shirt (smoother material) to gently blot excess moisture (never rub) or a smooth microfiber towel with no raised loops. The loops pull and frizz the surface of the hair. You can also use a pillowcase as long as it’s smooth; paper towels work well if they have no raised surface.

Don’t leave the towel on your head (the notorious 'plopping') as this will also frizz the hair when you pull it off; your hair sticks to the towel. This also distorts your natural curl pattern and can stretch out the curls at the roots.

Try to air dry or gently diffuse aiming the movement of the air from the scalp towards the ends, supporting them with the tips of your fingers, but not kneading them like dough (scrunching). Do not separate or disturb the curl bundles while they are drying.

Only diffuse to about 80% dry, or just past the 'rubbery' stage to avoid dehydrating your hair. Let it finish drying naturally!

When your curls are completely dry, they should look wet.

When 100% dry, gently squeeze your curls from the top down to scrunch out the crunch and soften your overall look. The more you scrunch, the softer they look.

On long hair, I like to leave the ends a bit crunchier or more high definition, as throughout the day, whenever you move or turn your head, these curls get pulled apart and bashed around your shoulders, collars, coats, scarves, creating frizz or a triangle.


Extra Tips!

  • You can also use small metal clips on your roots while you air dry or diffuse for root volume as well as applying gel to your roots for extra lift and hold throughout the day!
  • If you like volume, you can flip your head upside down before you scrunch out the cast and massage your scalp to lift the roots up. Do not shake the curls as this creates frizz. When you flip back up soften from the top down.
  • If your curls start coming apart or frizzing, you’ve taken out too much water, or you haven’t applied your styling product evenly.
  • If you accidentally cause frizz by separating the curl or too much towel drying, just add more water and smooth your hair out.
Mom was wrong……..how fun is that!
Now go forth and Be Gorgeous!